OUSD Schools Re-Open August 10; Free Meals Continue Through Summer With 24 Sites

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Photo by Element5 Digital via Unsplash.

OUSD’s Plans for the Fall

It’s still unclear how schools will look beginning next Fall, although parents, teachers, and students may want to know. The school year is scheduled to begin August 10, 2020.

OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell recently released an announcement with some possible scenarios of what classrooms will look like this Fall. The scenarios depend on how things go as far as COVID-19 rates, current research, and funding. To that end, the district has formed a task force to look at instruction, technology, operations, facilities, wellness, finances, and community.

From Johnson-Trammell’s newsletter, she states that these are the most “likely scenarios” of how instruction will look this upcoming Fall:

  • Blended Instructional Model: It is likely we will have some kind of blended model with both in-person and distance learning next year. For in-person instruction, we will have safety precautions and social distancing to keep students and staff safe. It could be rotating days or weeks, or splitting the school into morning and afternoon schedules.
  • Different approaches by age: It is likely that elementary and secondary will be different, as the learning needs, and the family care-taking needs differ at these levels. We may focus our in-person instruction on elementary school students and distance learning for secondary students. We also have to be mindful of the economic realities that many of our students face (for example, an increasing number of our high school students are working to help support themselves and their families.) We need to ramp up our career pathways and work with community partners to prevent this from driving students to drop out.
  • Supporting Wellness: It is likely that we will have to focus significant efforts to help our students and staff feel connected and safe given the difficulties we are all facing. This may look like the curriculum being altered to allow more space for this care.
  • Intermittent Closures:  It is likely that we will have intermittent periods of being entirely closed for in-person instruction, in response to public health guidance from the city, county, or state. (Read the full announcement here)

In short, schools may physically re-open to students, but it’s too soon to tell. Factors to consider include if there’s a spike in cases, what’s happening nationally, if there’s federal funding, if there’s another shelter-in-place ordinance, and what public health experts advise, according to district spokesman John Sasaki. The district will give “a more complete answer sometime in the month before we reopen school,” he stated.

(Check out Oakland Voices Correspondent Katharine Davies Samway’s in-depth interviews with several teachers from East Oakland, who expressed the need for more time to plan, among other things).

OUSD Will Continue to Distribute Free Meals During Summer

OUSD has been distributing free meals to families since the beginning of the school closures, twice a week. Now, it looks like this will continue through summer. The district is asking everyone to wear masks; children do not need to be present to receive food. The district announced that they will be opening 24 sites during the summer, doubling the number of sites, so families can more easily travel to and pick up food closer to home.

The pick up times are 8am-noon Mondays and Thursdays from June 1, 2020-July 31, 2020. The locations are: Allendale Elementary School, Bella Vista Elementary School, Bret Harte Middle School, Castlemont High School, Cleveland Elementary School, Coliseum College Prep, East Oakland Pride Elementary School, Elmhurst United Middle School, Emerson Elementary School, Esperanza Elementary School, Fremont High School, Frick Middle School, Garfield Elementary School, Hoover Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, La Escuelita Elementary School, Life Academy, Madison Park Upper, Manzanita Elementary School, Melrose Leadership Academy, New Highland/Rise, Oakland High School, Sankofa Elementary School, West Oakland Middle School.

Flyers with info and maps are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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